Moldy Green: Celtic vets, coach can’t explain team’s struggles

John Raffel – AHN Sports Correspondent

Auburn Hills, MI, United States (AHN Sports) – Ray Allen is a veteran of 15 NBA seasons but admits the Boston Celtics aren’t exactly establishing themselves as league title contenders with a 15-15 record through the weekend.

After a 96-81 loss to the Detroit Pistons Sunday, the Celtics fell to the .500 mark and have lost five of their last six.

Allen scored 13 points in the loss to the Pistons. He has been averaging 14.3 points a game, which ranks third on the team and has been shooting a steady 49.2 percent from the floor.

“We’re not competing consistently right now,” Allen said. “If you look at the course of 48 minutes, we don’t have consistency throughout the whole game. It doesn’t matter who we play.”

The 36-year-old Allen had a big game in late December against Miami with six 3-pointers and also had 27 points and six treys against the Wizards in early January. Against the Thunder on Jan. 16, he picked up his 4,000th career assist.

“I’m not one to sit back, look around and figure out to see who is not doing their job,” he said. “I’m looking to see what I can do better on the floor. Me personally, I can improve. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

In their last three games, the Celtics have scored less than 90 points.

“Offensively, it seems like it’s a struggle right now,” Allen said. “It seems like we’re letting it dictate how we play the rest of the game, which we shouldn’t. We move the ball great. But offensively, it seems like when we bog down, the guys quit playing. It becomes mechanical. The guys are like robots out there. We have to get back to playing basketball, make the plays, know the offense and enjoy it while we’re doing it.”

Allen’s coach and other teammates also voiced their frustration.

“At the end of the day, I have to do a better job with this group,” Celtics skipper Doc Rivers said.

“It’s very hard,” said 13-year veteran Paul Pierce. “Nobody likes to lose, but at the same time, nobody likes to lose when you don’t feel like you’re competing.”

On the loss to the Pistons, the Celtics were whistled for four technical fouls.

“It’s too many times we’re looking at officials to bail us out,” Pierce said. “We just got to understand we can’t expect anything from referees. We’re on the road. They’re not going to always make the call that you want. We just got to continue to play through it. We can’t be a fragile team and get frustrated with the calls that they make. Some way, some how, we have to be mentally tougher than that.”

The Celtics had 22 turnovers against the Pistons, which was another troubling statistic for Boston fans.

“We’ve played a lot of basketball,” Allen said. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to know the plays.”

“We just pretty much gave them everything they wanted,” Pierce said. “They were able to run the ball on the break, offensive rebounds on top of that, and we turned the ball over far too many times. We played solid defense and then we give up offensive rebounds and then we come down on offense and turn it over.

“It’s very tough to win in that circumstance.”

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